Earlier tumour diagnosis with advanced ultrasound technology from Oxford


Oxford’s Isis Innovation and Canada’s Centre for Imaging Technology Commercialization partner to develop superior imaging technology

Isis Innovation, the technology transfer arm at the University of Oxford; and Canada’s Centre for Imaging Technology Commercialization (CIMTEC) have announced a partnership to jointly develop and test a new enhanced ultrasound imaging technology.

The principle inventor of the Oxford Electromagnetic Acoustic (OxEMA) technology, Professor David Edwards, explains: “Our technology uses a combination of electromagnetic and acoustic waves in order to create advanced medical images at a cost comparable to ultrasound. The benefits of this are much greater clarity of image and unparalleled tissue-type characterisation when compared to ultrasound.

“OxEMA will provide clinicians with MRI-like information using an ultrasound instrument. This will allow quick, accessible and cost-effective diagnosis, particularly for patients in remote areas without easy access to MRI services.”

The OxEMA system can radically improve identification of tumours and other anomalous tissue, which is not currently possible with standard ultrasound technology. It has the potential to enable earlier diagnosis and more accurate treatment of conditions such as prostate and liver cancer.

Dr Masoom Haider, chief of the department of medical imaging at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre said, “This technology is uniquely positioned to improve prostate management for both imaging and therapy.”

Isis Innovation has been leading the commercialisation of the OxEMA system and has engaged with CIMTEC to develop the technology further through a new start-up, Enhanced Medical.

Tom Hockaday, managing director of Isis Innovation, said: “We are pleased to have entered into a unique relationship with CIMTEC, who are extremely well placed to advance the Oxford technology.”

Amol Karnick, chief executive of Enhanced Medical, added: “Through discussions with several physicians about our technology and its potential, they have confirmed that improving biopsy targeting using ultrasound is a significant clinical need. OxEMA is well positioned to solve this clinical problem, and will be able to improve outcomes for patients and hospitals using it. I am confident that the partnership with CIMTEC will accelerate our development and bring OxEMA to market earlier.”

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Isis Innovation has filed patents covering OxEMA’s technology with patents granted to date in China and Japan.